Read: Isaiah 26:6-9
He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.
God Will Save Us
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Crying is a natural part of life. When you’re a baby, it seems like you cry all the time! When you’re a little older and in elementary school, you don’t cry as much. You still cry, though, especially when something bad happens like getting hurt or having a friend move away.
When you get older you’ll probably cry even less. But there will still be times when you need to have a good hard cry. And at those times, there’s nothing better than someone who loves you handing you a Kleenex, giving you a hug, and telling you everything is going to be okay.
One event where it is difficult not to cry is a funeral. There’s something terribly sad about someone you love suddenly being gone and knowing you won’t see them at your next family gathering or hear their voice the next time the phone rings. There are Kleenexes handed out and hugs given at funerals, but there’s no bringing that person back from the dead. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that everything is going to be okay.
And then someday, it will be our turn to die too. Someday we will be the one who is lying in that casket and having people cry at our funeral. That’s a sad thought—a thought that seems strange and unnatural—because we are so full of life right now. It is strange and unnatural, because death wasn’t part of God’s original plan. Death came into the world when Adam and Eve sinned, and death has been a part of our lives ever since.
But here is some good news! Isaiah tells us that God is going to swallow up death forever and wipe away the tears from all faces. When Jesus rose from the grave on Easter morning, he declared victory over death. He came back to life and took away death’s power. We don’t have to be scared of dying anymore, because Jesus already died in our place. On the Last Day, we will rise just like he did and will live forever with him in heaven.
Yes, all of us are going to die someday (unless Jesus comes back first). Yes, this is a sad thought, because there will be people left behind who will miss us very much. But it doesn’t have to be a scary thought, because we know that death is not the end. Heaven comes after death—so there’s no reason to be afraid. We have something much better to look forward to, and death is just the way of getting there.
Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for dying in my place and rising again from the dead. Even when death seems scary, help me remember that for me, it is actually the door to heaven. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- Why don’t you have to be scared of dying?
- When one of your friends is sad because someone they love dies, what can you say to them to help them feel better?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Although we will have to wait until heaven for God to perfectly wipe away all of our tears, what are some ways he comforts you in your life right now?
- Isaiah says, “Let us rejoice and be glad in [the LORD’s] salvation” (verse 9). Why can we rejoice even when someone we love dies?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- The reading for today is sometimes heard at Easter. Even though this reading doesn’t specifically mention Jesus, why is it so appropriate?
- In verse 6, Isaiah talks about a feast that God will prepare for all people. What feast is he talking about? When and where will this feast be celebrated (cf. Revelation 19:9)?
Hymn: CW 213:1,5 – Forever With the Lord
Forever with the Lord!
Amen! So let it be.
Life from the dead is in that word,
So when my dying breath
Shall rend the veil in two,
By death I shall escape from death
To endless life with you.